Season 2, Episode 9 of The Space and Science Show #AskAbby series
Presented by TheMarsGeneration.org
What are the Worst Space Movies Ever?
In the ninth episode of Season Two of #AskAbby, please join aspiring astronaut, Abby Harrison AKA ‘Astronaut Abby’ as she answers the question, “What are the worst space movies ever?” You’re a busy person, why waste time watching an awful film (except for a good laugh that is)? From complete and utter scientific inaccuracy, to poor storytelling, corny dialogue, bad acting, and cringeworthy special effects, these films really miss their mark. Join Abby as she countdowns the Top 5 Space Films to avoid in this episode of the Mars Generation’s Space and Science Show!
Films range from Disney flops to Michael Bay meets sci-fi to even an Oscar-winner. Discussion will be on: How scientifically inaccurate are these films? What would actually happen in the film if it followed science? Which director thought their film was so bad they even APOLOGIZED for making it? Plus, which films got the worst ratings on Rotten Tomatoes? Yes, they really can go THAT low.
Transcription of TOP TEN WORST SPACE MOVIES?
Are you a science lover? Do you love sci-fi movies that really make you think? Are you looking for a good film recommendation for your next movie night? Well, you have not come to the right place! Today I’m sharing with you 5 sci-fi movies that will make anyone who knows anything about space cry. Hollywood, man.
Hi everyone, I’m Astronaut Abby, an aspiring astronaut with the goal to be the first person to walk on Mars. Welcome to Ask Abby, where I answer all of your questions about space and science. Since we did my 10 favorite space movies in the last episode, I thought it was only fair to follow up with some of my least favorite space movies. And, as you’ve probably noticed, Hollywood really isn’t the best at staying super true to science. So today we’re going to talk about 5 of the worst and most scientifically-inaccurate space movies.
Starting at #5 is the 1998 film Armageddon, directed by Michael Bay. And Armageddon is exactly what you’d expect a space film directed by Michael Bay to be, which is, essentially, explosions meet space. Basically in Armageddon there’s a meteor shower that causes random giant explosions everywhere. There are probably more explosions in this film than there are scientific inaccuracies, which is saying something. Just a quick note: meteor showers aren’t actually dangerous in real life. Most meteors are so small that they burn up really quickly as they pass through the atmosphere and just cause shooting stars. In Armageddon the meteors destroy all of New York City and Paris, whereas in reality, they just look pretty. Another huge, huge scientific inaccuracy in this movie is the idea that if an asteroid were coming toward Earth on a collision course, we could just blow it up with a bomb. But in order to do that, we’d actually have to have a bomb 1 billion times stronger than the strongest H-Bomb ever detonated on Earth. This film is so bad that it has a mere 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, and, get this, Michael Bay himself actually apologized for making it. But as bad as this film was, it still made a lot of money in the box office. More, in fact, than any other film in 1998, raking in over 500 million dollars.
I guess explosions really sell? Huh…. (Abby explodes in special effects on screen then reappears.) Did that work? Do you guys just totally want to subscribe to my channel now?
#4. The Black Hole, released in 1979, produced by Disney, and directed by Gary Nelson. As acclaimed film critic Robert Ebret said, “Disney’s The Black Hole takes us all the way to the rim of space, only to bog us down in a talky melodrama whipped up out of mad scientists and haunted houses,” which is brutal but not wrong. It’s also one of the most scientifically inaccurate space movies of all time, as in the film they go through a black hole as if it’s some sort of worm hole, and uh, if you want to know what really happens when you go into a black hole, you can go watch the Ask Abby episode that we did all about black holes. And while the special effects were advanced at its time, The Black Hole has not aged well. Simply put, the special effects are awful. And it’s pretty much a soap opera, but in space. A “Space Opera”? Which, now that I think about it, really could be done well. But it wasn’t.
The third offender on my do-not-watch list is Red Planet, released in 2000 by director Anthony Hoffman and, wait for it, the holder of a whopping 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. This film, made with a budget of 80 million U.S. dollars only made 17.5 million at the box office. That’s painful. But not as painful as the dialogue, which is drier than the red planet itself. And don’t even get me started on the fact that the characters are all perfectly fine walking around on Mars without wearing helmets. What? You know what, oh my god, I quit. I quit!
#2 is Mission to Mars, which was released in 2000 and directed by Brian De Palma. And based on the title, you might have thought that I’d be on board with this one, but I think you’ll see why I’m not. Mission to Mars is a poor representation of what my generation is hoping to do. It takes a lot of inaccuracies that we say in films that did it right, like The Martian, and it doesn’t balance them out with pretty much anything good. An example of one of these inaccuracies that really bothered me was there’s a moment where one of the characters is in a room, and the only life support system that he’s relying on is a handful of plants, which, PSA, will not provide enough oxygen to support you so do not try that at home. Look, all I’m saying is that after watching that, that’s not a mission to Mars that I’d want to be on, and I want to be on pretty much every mission to Mars, sooo….
But moving from bad to worse, my number 1 pick for the worst space movie in terms of having the worst plot is…drumroll…Gravity. Released in 2013 by director Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity may have won 7 Oscars, you really cannot deny that the special effects were top-notch, however, there was very little plot, and the science in it was off, which is why I’m putting it as my least favorite space movie. For starters, George Clooney really didn’t have to die. Sandra Bullock could have very easily pulled him back in by just yanking on his tether a little bit. In addition, and, even more so, a real astronaut never would have been that unprofessional while on a mission. Also the locations and distances of the various space stations in this movie are all wrong. The movie shows Hubble, the ISS, and Tiangong as being much closer than they are in real life. When you look at it, it really starts to break apart. Plus the satellite that plays the main antagonist in Gravity really wouldn’t have had such a dramatic impact and caused all that dangerous debris. But if your goal is to see Sandra Bullock thrown around in microgravity, cluelessly, then I guess Gravity is a good choice for your movie night.
So, is Hollywood scientifically accurate? I think they might need more scientists to read their scripts before going to the big screen. As a fellow sci-fi lover and scientist–”I volunteer as tribute!”
Either way it’s always fun to grab some popcorn and laugh about how wrong they are. But if you want a movie that’s entertaining for all the right reasons, go check out my previous episode about the top 10 best space movies.
That’s all the time we have today for Ask Abby, thank you so much for joining me on this segment of The Mars Generation’s Space and Science Show. I hope that you enjoyed hearing what I think are the worst space movies out there, and you’re welcome for watching all of those so that you don’t have to, but if there are some movies that you think deserve to have been on this list, go ahead and put them in the comments down below. And as always, if you liked this episode, go ahead and click the thumbs up button to give us a like, and make sure to subscribe to see all of our upcoming episodes. If you have a question that you’d like to see answered by me here on this show, you can submit it by tweeting it using the hashtag #AskAbby or at themarsgeneration.org which is linked below.
So, until next time, farewell fellow travelers of spaceship Earth!